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Old 08-11-2012, 06:07 PM   #1
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Information about rock chip guard or rear fender clear decal

Hello! I'm sorry if this subject has been approached before, but I could not find anything about it in the forums (just one post about a bad paint job over the chip guard).

Anyway, my 1st gen has these chip guards in front of the rear wheel wells. They started out as a clear and I'm assuming flexible decal. They are completely rotted and brown and cracked and look like poop on my lunar mist colored truck.

My questions about them are: 1. Can they removed without damaging the paint underneath (and by what means)? and 2. Are they replaceable? and 3. Should I even bother replacing them?

Thank you in advance for any input you can provide!
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:28 PM   #2
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They're definitely replaceable. The film is called "3M Film" most often, and as the name states, it's manufactured by 3M. It's just a sticker, really. The older 3M film was prone to yellowing, and cracking. The newer formula is much less prone to these issues.

Take the old film off by hand, just peel it off. But peel it off the right way, to ensure the adhesive comes off with the film, and doesn't stick to the panel. When removing, pick up a corner as a starting point, then when you start pulling the film, pull it up, and towards you. Do not pull it so that the film overlaps itself. If you do this, the adhesive will tend to stick to the panel, which is not the end of the world, but a pain in the butt to clean off.

You can purchase that exact piece of film directly from your local Toyota dealer. Or just buy a roll of 3M film from your local autobody supply store, and cut your own custom piece.

Hope that helps!
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:53 AM   #3
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I wish it was that easy...as I said, they are cracked, so I'm not sure if they'll come off in one piece. Here's a shot of the passenger side one...it appears the last owner attempted to start removing it...they didn't get far

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Old 08-12-2012, 08:13 PM   #4
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Oh WOW, that's really bad! I've been in auto body for over a decade, and never seen that. Must be a truck from the south... Yep, Ft. Lauderdale... haha

Well, I'd start picking away at it. It'll be tedious, but worth it. You may also want to try a 3M "eraser wheel." It's basically a rubber wheel that attaches to a drill. It's ideal for removing decals, etc... Not sure about this mess, but it sure can't hurt to try.

EDIT: Since the bottom is in such good shape, I'd start down there, and start pulling on it. The loose cracked bits at the top are gonna be a pain, but they will come off. Just gonna need some elbow grease.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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What about a hair dyer to warm the adhesive then use a plastic tool of some sort? We used to use that with decals when I detailed for a car dealership. We used plastic razor blades.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:25 PM   #6
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Try using a heat gun. It should soften up the adhesive and plastic enough to come right off. Obviously technique is critical not to hurt the paint but you shouldn't need a lot of heat to soften the adhesive. Just set on low and keep it moving making sure not to hold in one place at anytime. They're $20 at Home Depot. Whatever residue or adhasive is left on the fender, use Goo Gone just like you would if debadging and clean it all off with auto wash. Wax it up or follow the instructions in the 3m clear tape. Hope this helps
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
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How'd it get so brown. Looks like someone used the fender like a piece of TP. When that's off you're gonna be so happy. Good luck
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:23 PM   #8
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Yeah, it's a really nasty mess...and really bugs me to look at it since the truck's so clean otherwise. I'm sure it's this powerful south Florida sun that did it...severe UV damage. Thanks for the input...I'll try a blow dryer set to hot and see if it loosens enough...and I have a friend with a real heat gun if I need to go that route. And I have several plastic spackle knives around...maybe one of those would work...or maybe and old hotel key card

Will update if I can get it to work...just in case anyone else have this mess to deal with.

Then it's a matter of whether to put new ones on or not. I'll make a template from the one that's intact before I remove it in case I want to make new ones from the 3m film.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:07 PM   #10
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i would try an eraser wheel that you can pick up from a local automotive paint supply and attach it to a drill. don't hold it in one spot for to long as it can burn through the paint. hope this helps good luck
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:40 AM   #11
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Hey OP, how did you make out? What technique did you use? Pic???
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:55 PM   #12
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ever get it off? I have the same issue with mine and want it off!!!
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dadic 78 View Post
Oh WOW, that's really bad! I've been in auto body for over a decade, and never seen that. Must be a truck from the south... Yep, Ft. Lauderdale... haha

Well, I'd start picking away at it. It'll be tedious, but worth it. You may also want to try a 3M "eraser wheel." It's basically a rubber wheel that attaches to a drill. It's ideal for removing decals, etc... Not sure about this mess, but it sure can't hurt to try.

EDIT: Since the bottom is in such good shape, I'd start down there, and start pulling on it. The loose cracked bits at the top are gonna be a pain, but they will come off. Just gonna need some elbow grease.
The 3m wheel rips paint right off of plastic.... Ask me how I know.
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:04 PM   #14
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there is a spray on protector that is used on the hood to protect it from rock chips this might work for you. don't remember its exact name its at most any auto store fairly cheap.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:58 AM   #15
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I did find out that the eraser wheel takes paint right off of plastic...so that didn't work for me. I also tried assorted solvents at my work like one called "Un Stik" adhesive remover and nothing even really touched it. So, there it sits to this day on my fender...one with a big black notch out of it from where I tried the eraser wheel...just to taunt me.

And @Swamp Rat, that spray on protector would be great once I could remove the ugly mess that is the original protectors ;-)
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FramerKat View Post
I did find out that the eraser wheel takes paint right off of plastic...so that didn't work for me. I also tried assorted solvents at my work like one called "Un Stik" adhesive remover and nothing even really touched it. So, there it sits to this day on my fender...one with a big black notch out of it from where I tried the eraser wheel...just to taunt me.

And @Swamp Rat, that spray on protector would be great once I could remove the ugly mess that is the original protectors ;-)
I would try a little WD-40, or paint thinner on a rag. Find a small section and spray the WD-40 or press the rag on the plastic area for a few minutes. Then try to remove the stuff. You might have to go back a few times before you get all of the glue off. Goof off/un-stik are good for newer glue, but don't have the penetrating power that paint thinner or WD-40 does.

Believe me, I've seen this happen before and it is a tedious process to remove it, but it can be done.

And I would highly recommend putting something back in that location once you get it cleaned.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:17 AM   #17
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The only obvious other cure would be to get some fine grit sand paper and slowly start removing it. But you will need a lot of paper as it will gum up quickly. I'd probably wet sand it.

But at least you will be able to correct the paint under this area once you get it off.

In fact, you'll probably have to do a lot of correction (sanding/compounding/polishing/buffing) after you remove the plastic and glue.
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